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Tiered Assignments: Creating Levels for Student Work Also, Independent Studies & PBL. Jacque Melin - GVSU. Tiering is…. A form of differentiation Differentiation according to readiness Based upon students’ readiness for a particular task Driven by pre-assessment.

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Tiered Assignments: Creating Levels for Student Work Also, Independent Studies & PBL

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Tiered Assignments:

Creating Levels for Student Work

Also, Independent Studies & PBL

Jacque Melin - GVSU


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Tiering is…

  • A form of differentiation

  • Differentiation according to readiness

  • Based upon students’ readiness for a particular task

  • Driven by pre-assessment

  • NOT the only kind of differentiation, though it is foundational

  • NOT locking students into “ability boxes” -- groups are flexible and vary according to the task

  • NOT more work or “better” work for some levels – tasks are equitable


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Tiered assignments should be:

-Different work, not simply more or less work

-Equally active

-Equally interesting and engaging

-Fair in terms of work expectations and time needed

-Require the use of key concepts, skills, or ideas

-Are used as practice or daily work, NOT as an assessment task to be graded.

-Learn from each other – share work!


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How to Distribute TiersDeciding on Who Gets Which Version on an Assignment

Option 1—Everyone does Tier 1

Option 2—Let Students Choose a Tier

Option 3—Put the Students into Cooperative Groups

Option 4—All Tiers for All Students (Layered Curriculum)

Option 5—The Teacher Decides Which Students Get Which Tiers


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Tiering by Readiness

  • Tiering by learning readiness offers an opportunity to reinforce or reteach a lesson to one group of learners, and to extend or enrich learning for other learners.


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Features of Tiered LessonsBased on Readiness

Struggling Learners

  • Less difficult independent reading

  • Spare text, more graphic aids

  • Very concrete

  • Knowledge and comprehension levels of thinking for independent work

  • Includes supportive strategies

  • Converges on “right” answer to solve problem (more closed-ended)


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Average Learners

  • On-grade level reading materials

  • Concrete concepts used to transition to more abstract ones

  • Knowledge, comprehension, and application levels of thinking for independent work, higher levels with help

  • Assumes more inferencing and drawing conclusions with less teacher support

  • Mix of “right” and open-ended answers


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Advanced Learners

  • More complex reading materials

  • Abstract concepts as much as possible

  • Analysis, synthesis, and evaluation levels of thinking

  • Requires inferencing drawing conclusions, and evaluating

  • Open-ended questions almost exclusively


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Helpful Words for Critical Reasoning

  • Compare/Contrast

  • Sequence & prioritize

  • Analyze arguments

  • Stereotypes

  • Deduction/Induction

  • Reliable sources

  • Alternative perspectives

  • Intellectual risk-taking

  • Cause/Effect

  • Point of view

  • Bias

  • Relevance/Irrelevance

  • Fact/Opinion

  • Multi-faceted

  • Generalizations

  • Assumptions


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Helpful Words for Creative Thinking

  • Generate ideas

  • Elaborate

  • Original Ideas

  • Divergent thinking

  • Open-endedness

  • Metaphorical

  • Abstract

  • Use ideas in new ways

  • Innovate

  • Ambiguity

  • Self-expressive

  • Less structure

  • Imagination


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Helpful Words for Problem Solving

  • Decide/Plan

  • Analyze patterns

  • Hypothesize

  • Verify/Check

  • Monitor

  • Summarize

  • Execute

  • Select approaches

  • Work backward

  • Define problem

  • Generate alternatives

  • Determine alternatives

  • Analyze information

  • Estimate

  • Put into practice


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Basic Elements Defining the Core Curriculum


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Differentiating the Core:Modifying the Process Element – Thinking Skills


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Differentiating the Core:Modifying the Process Element – Research Skills


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Differentiating the Core:Modifying the Product Element


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Differentiating the Core:Modifying the Content Element


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3 Levels of Challenge - CbC

Green—Tasks are foundational and appropriate for the current grade level. Success depends on understanding and applying required knowledge and skills. Green level tasks meet a rigorous grade level proficiency standard.

Blue—Tasks are advanced and complex. Success depends on extending one’s skills in order to recognize and address the added layers of complexity.

Black—Tasks are extremely advanced and highly complex. Success depends on creatively applying and extending one’s skills, at times in very unfamiliar territory.


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Tiered

Graphic

Organizers

Tier 1


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Tiered

Graphic

Organizers

Tier 2


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Tiered

Graphic

Organizers

Tier 3


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Task/Work

  • Make sure the directions are clearly stated in student-friendly language.

  • Include specific details (e.g., “Give a minimum of three examples”)

  • Include criteria for quality or a rubric so students clearly know your expectations for their work.

  • As appropriate, sequence the steps students need to follow.

  • Include examples or samples of work as necessary.

  • Explain how students will share their work.

  • Double-check that the directions can be followed by students independently.


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Task Cards/Work Cards

Write a letter to yourself stating at least five key points that you would like to remember about differentiated instruction and how you will use these things in your classroom.

Write a letter to your principal comparing what you have learned about differentiated instruction to what is happening in your school.

Write a persuasive letter to your school board president convincing him/her that your school district must adopt the philosophy of differentiated instruction in your district.


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Layered Curriculum – Kathie Nunley

“Between various learning profiles, various abilities and exceptionalities, multiple languages and cultures, I began to come to two very important conclusions. First, although I am considered a regular educator there are no regular students in my room. And secondly, every student deserves a special education.”

Dr. Kathie Nunley


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Layer C

  • Foundation Layer

  • Basic knowledge and understanding

  • Students collect factual information in a learning style, reading level, and language that is most comfortable to him or her.


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Layer C

  • Can offer as little as 3 or 4 assignment choices or as many as 20.

  • Students will not do all assignments, but enough to accumulate point totals needed to move on to next layer.

    Example: 30 points are needed to move on. Each assignment worth 5 points, so student must do 6 Layer C assignments.


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Examples:

  • All lists of C layer activities should provide assignments for:

    -visual learners (reading, demos)

    -auditory learners (lecture, video)

    -tactile learners (models, flash cards)


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Assessment

  • Many different ways to assess this layer

    • Oral Defense

    • Short Quizzes

  • Important for students to prove that they have learned the information and not just completed the assignments.

  • Assessment is very important in Layer C, as mastery of basic knowledge is pivotal for student success in Layers B and A.


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Genetics Unit - HS

OBJECTIVES

  • 1.  In the context of a monohybrid cross, apply the terms phenotype, genotype, allele, homozygous and heterozygous.

  • 2.  Use concepts from Mendel’s Laws of Segregation and Independent Assortment to explain how sorting and recombination (crossing over) of genes during sexual reproduction (meiosis) increases the occurrence of variation in a species.

  • 3.  Use the processes of mitosis and meiosis to explain the advantages and disadvantages of asexual and sexual reproduction.


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C Layer - Requirements

  • LAYER C- BASIC UNDERSTANDING

  • (Choose a total of 75 pts from the assignments below.

    * indicates a required assignment.  (Must be present in class to earn points for notes.)


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C Layer – Days 1-5

Days 1-2- Punnett Squares- Monohybrid Cross

____ *1a. Complete all Punnett square worksheets (VL-5 pts).

____ 1b. Make vocabulary flashcards for all the Punnett square terms in your own words (VL-5 pts).

____ 1c. In a group of 4, make a poster showing one of the pairs of terms (VS-5 pts). 

Day 3- Punnet Square Quiz, Dihybrid Cross

____ *1d.  Complete Punnett square quiz (VL- 10 pts). 

Days 4-5- Meiosis

____ *2a. Complete meiosis worksheets (VL-5 pts).

____ *2b. Complete pipe cleaner activity (BK-5 pts).

____ 2c. Draw, label, and explain the phases of meiosis (VS-10 pts).

____ 2d. In groups of 4, create a skit about meiosis (BK, IE-10 pts).

____ 2e. With a partner, write a song about meiosis (MU, IE-10 pts).

____ 2f. Create a flipbook that shows the phases of meiosis (LM, VS-10 pts). 


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C Layer – Days 6-8

Day 6- Crossing Over and Nondisjunction

____ 2g.  Complete worksheet in class (VL-5 pts). 

Day 7- Reproduction

____ *3.  Make a table showing the advantages and disadvantages of sexual and asexual reproduction (LM-10 pts).  

Day 8-Meiosis Quiz/Work Day

____ *All. Complete meiosis quiz (VL-10 pts).

____ *All. Complete practice exercises in class (VL, LM-5 pts).

____ All.   Listen to lecture and take notes each day (VL)  1    2    3    4    5 

____ All. Secretary position- proofread and edit another student’s written assignment (VL-5 pts). 


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Layer B

  • According to Kathie Nunley, the “B” layer deals with “application or manipulation of the information learned in the C layer. Problem solving or other higher level thinking tasks can be placed here.”

  • Relates to application and analysis in Bloom’s Taxonomy


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Examples:

  • All “B” layer projects should be based upon information learned at the “C” layer

    • Lab activities

    • Designing a game for a specific topic

    • Drawing a cartoon

    • Designing a worksheet

    • Brainstorming quiz/test questions

    • Inquiry projects—designing a lab


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Summary:

  • The B layer requires application of the knowledge they acquired at the C level.

  • Mini-stations can be set up around the room and students can DO science instead of WATCHING science being done by the teacher.

  • It can be shown to the students that it is OK to make mistakes and that in making mistakes, you can possibly learn more.


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B Layer – Day 9

LAYER B- APPLICATION OF KNOWLEDGE (10 points)

____ *1.   Perform the human traits lab and complete the lab sheet. 


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Layer A

  • Critical thinking about the topic.

  • Examining how the material integrates into the world around them.

  • Bloom’s taxonomy -- highest order

    • Synthesis

    • Evaluation


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Examples:

  • Experiments

  • Research

  • Power Points

  • Podcasts, Movies, Websites

  • Posters, Books


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A Layer – Day 10

LAYER A- CRITICAL THINKING & ANALYSIS OF REAL WORLD ISSUES (15 points) 

  •  Using 2 resources either write a 1 page paper or create a 6 slide PowerPoint presentation exploring one of the questions below.  When answering questions the first paragraph should be an introduction, the second paragraph should give information (pro and con), and the last paragraph or slide should include your conclusion and opinion on the question posed. 

    ____ 1. Imagine you are Gregor Mendel's assistant. While crossing several generations of pea plants, all with purple flowers, you find one with a white flower. Describe the presence of the white flower in a letter to a colleague (fellow scientist).

    ____ 2. Did Gregor Mendel fake some of his data? Why do some scientists think this?

    ____ 3. Does nondisjunction in plants (polyploidy) create new species?


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Assessment:

  • Students must do all three layers to earn an “A”. This grade indicates that students have mastered the concepts and have included a critical analysis of the current issues relating to the subject matter.

  • Rubrics and/or Oral Defense


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Sidebars

  • SIDEBARS: Another way to differentiate instruction is to be ready for students who learn the material quickly and accurately. Teachers can create a “sidebar activity” for these students who have demonstrated successful completion of an assignment (or unit). A “sidebar activity” is an assignment that moves laterally across the curriculum to further strengthen student understanding and aptitude. It requires several class periods (or even longer, like an on-going project). This is not “curriculum compacting” whereby the teacher accelerates faster students through the assigned curriculum. Rather, it is more of a “scenic turn-out” *from the assigned curriculum.

    (* Betty Shoemaker)

  • For example, here is a SideBar designed for US History students who successfully completed a reading notetaking assignment in their textbook.


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Sidebars

Create a CliffsNotes study guide for a new student in our AP History course. This booklet must assist the student in learning how to take notes for this chapter. If you’d rather, create a “Note Taking in History for Dummies.” Your guide should include helpful tips for reading the textbook.

For example:

• how to distill 3-4 paragraphs from the chapter down to a couple of summary sentences.

• how to locate key details that shed light on a main idea

• how to generate study-review questions at various levels of complexity

· quiz-type questions – recall basic information

· essay-type questions – deeper information processing

Your booklet could also include:

• key vocabulary terms

• study tips for learning and remembering historical information

• illustrations / graphics to highlight important points


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Basic

Basic

.What are the 6 steps of the experimental design process?

.Explain the difference between an independent and dependent variable.

3. Write a hypothesis from this question:

Does listening to music cause chickens to lay more eggs?

.Using If…, And… Then…, write a prediction statement for the following hypothesis:

Listening to music causes chickens to lay more eggs

5. Make a double T chart that would compare an experiment where music is played for one group of chickens and not for another to see if music affects the number of eggs they lay. Label each variable.

6. Make a graph using the following information. Label which axis is the independent and dependent variable.

Not playing music—5 chickens lay 17 eggs.

Playing music—5 chickens lay 25 eggs.

.What are the 6 steps of the experimental design process?

.Explain the difference between an independent and dependent variable.

3. Write a hypothesis from this question:

Does listening to music cause chickens to lay more eggs?

.Using If…, And… Then…, write a prediction statement for the following hypothesis:

Listening to music causes chickens to lay more eggs

5. Make a double T chart that would compare an experiment where music is played for one group of chickens and not for another to see if music affects the number of eggs they lay. Label each variable.

6. Make a graph using the following information. Label which axis is the independent and dependent variable.

Not playing music—5 chickens lay 17 eggs.

Playing music—5 chickens lay 25 eggs.


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Basic Cube Record Sheet

.STEPS

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

.WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?

Independent Variable -

Dependent Variable -

.MUSICAL EGGS

Question: Does listening to music cause chickens to lay more eggs?

Hypothesis:

.PREDICTING EGGS

Hypothesis: Listening to music causes chickens to lay more eggs.

Prediction:

If…

And…

Then…

5. DOUBLE “T”6. GRAPH IT


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Differentiation by Readiness

English - To Kill a Mockingbird - Think Dots

LEVEL 1

1) Describe the setting of To Kill a Mockingbird.

2) Explain an example of person vs. person in To Kill a Mockingbird.

3) From whose point of view is the story told? What clues tell you?

4) In a Venn Diagram, compare and contrast one of the characters in To Kill a Mockingbird to a character in a different book.

5) How do the citizens of Maycomb react to Atticus’s decision to defend Tom Robinson? Write about two examples.

6) Find three examples of the following in To Kill a Mockingbird: similes, metaphors, and idioms. Create a list.


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Differentiation by ReadinessEnglish - To Kill a Mockingbird - Think Dots (continued)

LEVEL 2

1)Describe how the setting of To Kill a Mockingbird has influenced the story so far.

2)Explain at least three types of conflict with examples in To Kill a Mockingbird.

3)In what ways would the story be different if told from another character’s point of view? Give support for your opinion. “If only ______________ had been telling the story, it would have been different…”

4)In a Venn Diagram, compare and contrast the Ewells family and the Cunninghams family to a family in another movie.

5)In a newspaper article, explain how the local reaction to Atticus’s decision to defend Tom Robinson reflects the time period in which the novel takes place. Writer the newspaper article as it would have appeared during the setting of the novel.

6)What effect do the similes, metaphors, and idioms Harper Lee uses have on a reader’s understanding of the novel? Explain your thought in a critic’s blurb.


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Differentiation by ReadinessEnglish - To Kill a Mockingbird - Think Dots (continued)

LEVEL 3

1)Describe at least three ways the setting is reflected in the context of To Kill a Mockingbird.

2)Explain the most significant sources of conflict in To Kill a Mockingbird.

3)In your opinion, what does the point of view tell you about Harper Lee?

4)In a Venn Diagram, compare and contrast Scout as a narrator to another narrator of a movie or story.

5)Apply the quote “What is right is not always popular. What is popular is not always right” as an epigraph to a short essay explaining Atticus Finch’s decision to defend Tom Robinson.

6)What kind of writing style does Harper Lee have? Provide examples to illustrate your point.


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Independent Studies & Project Based Learning (PBL)


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http://home.cogeco.ca/~rayser3/litera1.htm


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Project Based Learning

http://pbl-online.org/

Edutopia

http://www.edutopia.org/

Buck Institute for Education

http://www.bie.org

West Virginia PBL

http://wvde.state.wv.us/teach21/pbl.html


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